On July 17, 2017, villagers from Osmanabad District, Maharashtra, dug 10,776 toilet pits within 18 hours, in a bid to build 10000+ toilets in the seven days.
621 villages from the Osmanabad District have set October 2, 2017 as the target date to achieve an open defecation-free (ODF) status.
On Gudi Padwa – the Maharashtrian New Year, March 28, 2017, the Marathwada Hagandari Mukt Sangram was launched. It is Marathwada’s campaign for the eradication of open defecation.
On July 2, 2017, Osmanabad district launched the ‘Mission 90 Days’ initiative. The immediate short-term goal is to give 10,000 households access to individual toilets across the district.
The long-term goal is to build and use 90,000 individual toilets in the remaining 550 villages. This will help the whole district become ODF by October 2, 2017.
On July 17, the task of digging pits began at 6 am and by night fall 10,776 pits were dug across the district, despite the inclement weather and the incessant rains. “In this programme, we aimed to achieve 10,000 pits, but to our wonder, 776 additional pits were dug in the stipulated time,” claimed Anand Rayate, Chief Executive Officer, Osmanabad Zilla Parishad.
United We Stand
Hanumant Gadge, Zilla Parishad official, claimed that the people have truly taken the movement to a mass level. Everyone including the Zilla Parishad President, Vice President and Employees, Block Development Officers, Sarpanches, Social Workers, Officers and, the Elected Members are involved in achieving the milestone. Even people at the grass root level have shown tremendous self-involvement while doing their bit towards cleanliness and sanitation.
‘Build a toilet and visit Singapore’ scheme has been announced to keep the villagers motivated. As per the scheme, 32 villagers who have built toilets in their houses will be selected through a lottery system to go on an all expense paid trip to Singapore. The results are set to be announced on the day when the goal is achieved.
Villages that construct the maximum number of toilets in the least number of days will be honoured on October 2, 2017. A dedicated monitoring team, three women teams, and 51 groups of Zilla Panchayat employees have been constituted for the same. They must submit weekly progress reports of their respective panchayats to Mr Rayate.
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched on October 2, 2014. Thousands of people across the length and the breadth of the country have woken up to the need for hygiene and cleanliness. Efforts across the ranks have been made to reclaim one’s birth right – the access to toilets.